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The Kitchn: Instant pot salsa chicken salsa is the easiest, most foolproof chicken dinner I know

Kelli Foster, on

Anytime I’m staring down a pack of boneless chicken breasts and need a quick dinner that requires next to no effort, I turn to salsa chicken. It’s the easiest, most foolproof chicken dinner I know, and the reason I always keep a couple of jars of salsa on hand.

After just 15 minutes in the Instant Pot, you’re greeted with a big batch of shredded meat that can be used for tacos, burritos, grain bowls, sandwiches and salads. Plus, leftovers can be stashed in the freezer for endless future meals.

For the best results, layer the ingredients

You’ll start by adding the salsa to the Instant Pot in an even layer across the bottom of the insert. While this recipe calls for tomato salsa, any jarred salsa will work, and changing up the variety is a fun way to keep this dinner feeling fresh. Then, place the seasoned chicken breasts on top — no need to stir. Placing the chicken on top of the salsa rather than directly against the insert helps prevent the bottom of it from scorching.

Instant Pot Salsa Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

1 (16-ounce) container tomato salsa (about 2 cups)

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Pour 1 (16-ounce) jar tomato salsa in a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Season 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts all over with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Place on top of the salsa in an even layer, and do not stir.

2. Lock the lid on and make sure the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook under HIGH pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 12 minutes to come up to pressure.

3. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure. Use 2 forks to shred the chicken, then stir into the salsa.

Recipe notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to four days.

(Kelli Foster is the food editor for plan and prep at, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to

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